Now Playing — Vacation edition

Vacation, vacation, vacation!

It feels so good to walk out of work, especially after a hard holiday week, and know you don’t have to go back on the job for a full week. I started my week off today with some Metal music to relax the mind and body while I enjoyed some really great weather here in Rhode Island.

Michael Schenker – Thank You (1993): I started the first day of vacation as soon as I got home from work at 1am this morning with a little acoustic Michael Schenker. Nothing relaxes me more than grabbing a cold iced tea, sitting in front of the stereo, turning the lights down and listening to one of the greatest Rock guitarists do his thing. THANK YOU used to help my youngest daughter take her nap when she was a baby and it helped me get relaxed enough to go to bed BEFORE 3am and get a great sleep.

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009): I started the actual day with the dog and a 2.5 mile walk with the soundtrack being the new Primal Fear album. I really liked their last album so this new one has a lot to live up to according to my ears. This was the 3rd time I’ve played 16.6 and I’ll need a few more spins before I pass judgement but I’ll say this: Primal Fear rarely disappoints me.

Starz – s/t (1976): I’ve had this thing for Starz for the past couple of days because I heard ‘Detroit Girls’ on a local classic rock station and they NEVER play Starz. I prefer the band’s second record, VIOLATION, but the debut is just as solid. This CD is the Ryko reissue from 2005 with 4 demos tacked on as bonus tracks.

Iron Fire – To The Grave (2009): This is the album that just will not die! I bought this album back when it came out earlier in the year and I have kept it in a weekly rotation every since. Iron Fire are Power Metal so it’s a genre I really like but it’s Iron Fire…..there are other bands releasing albums and I haven’t given this the proper time. I keep putting it on then forgetting about it for another new album so I decided that I would lie back with the headphones and give this a critical listen.

U.D.O. – Infected E.P. (2009): Just got this in the mail last week so I tore off the cellophane and gave this a spin…..a nice teaser for the upcoming album.

U.D.O. – Mastercutor (2007): You can never have enough U.D.O. or Accept so I pulled out MASTERCUTOR and now I am seriously pumped for DOMINATOR (2009) in August…..this time I’m going to buy the album right away instead of waiting to buy it like I did with this one.

Savannah – s/t (1998): So I decided to listen to Savannah’s debut because it was at the top of the pile on my desk and because I was so pleased that I got a great deal on a Japanese copy and cleared something off the WANTED list. So I finish with the CD and I go to put it in the CD case and what do I see? A U.S. version of the album! Now I have no idea when I got the U.S. pressing, I checked all of the CD Scavenger Hunts since January and I started to check Paypal to see when this mix up occurred…..nothing. So I have both versions now…..I really need to finish my list.

Michael Schenker – Thank You 4 (2003): I decided to end my day the same way I started it with some acoustic Michael Schenker. THANK YOU 4 is another album that helped my youngest daughter take her naps when she was a baby and it worked on me too. As I type this, I’m getting sleepy and the album is drawing to a close…..good night!

CD Scavenger Hunt — New Release Tuesday edition 6/2/09

Has it really been over a month since I went out on a Hunt? Sad to say but it has been a month since I went wild in the record store. I’m not sure what was up with May but I made up for things the right way by scooping up a bunch of new releases that came out the last couple weeks, grabbing a CD that I featured in a WANTED! post, and a couple of Ebay purchases. The weird thing was that I walked into my local Newbury Comics and the store was completely changed around! I had no idea where anything was! So let’s get to this week’s finds…..

Online

SAVANNAH - S-TSavannah – s/t (1998) – $15: Once I posted the WANTED column for this CD, I decided to go out and get it right away. I went to Amazon and found the Nightmare Records store where they had a brand new copy for $12 ($3 shipping). The listing stated that it was the U.S. version but it turned out to be the Japanese pressing with the bonus track: ‘Too Young Hearts’ (Soul Version). I was surprised to get the Japanese pressing because it usually goes for $50-$75 in most places…..definitely a bargain!

alyson avenue omegaAlyson Avenue – Omega (2004) – $11: I read online somewhere that both Alyson Avenue albums were going to be re-released but then I couldn’t find the article again. I have the band’s first album PRESENCE OF MIND (2000) and that goes for big bucks at auction now so I figured I might as well find OMEGA and have a complete set of original pressings. This album was easy to find but at inflated prices but I found this auction because the band’s name was misspelled…..I won for $8 + $3 shipping.

JLT - Rescue YouJoe Lynn Turner – Rescue You (1985) – $12: I love Joe Lynn Turner, he has one of the finest voices in Rock and I’ve taken an interest in picking up everything he’s done in the last few years. RESCUE YOU has been on my wishlist for quite some time now and it’s an easy album to find on CD because Wounded Bird Records reissued the album in 2004. I’ve actually seen a copy or two in my record store hunts! I was watching an auction for one of the reissues and I found this one ending soon for a Japanese pressing from ’85. I always prefer an original over a reissue especially when there is nothing extra on the reissue so winning this one for $9 + $3 shipping was a great deal!

Record Store

whitesnake-lovehunter-1979Whitesnake – Lovehunter (1979) – $12 used: I know $12 is a lot of a used CD but I haven’t been able to track down LOVEHUNTER in a few years, once I saw it I grabbed it right away! I posted a WANTED column for this album just over a year ago and I’ve been giving this the weekly search online…..you can’t find this online for less than $10 and, if you do, a bidding war starts! Another hole in the collection filled!

Candlemass_DeathMagicDoomCandlemass – Death Magic Doom (2009) – $12: This album came out last week but I never went to the record store…..I ended up missing the $9.99 sale price and had to settle for the new $12 sale price. I haven’t really paid much attention to Candlemass lately, especially when Messiah Marcolin left again in 2006, but I decided to give the band a fresh listen. This U.S. version has a bonus track ‘Lucifer Rising’ (album outtake).

Stratovarius-PolarisStratovarius – Polaris (2009) – $9.99: Here’s another band that I haven’t paid much attention to in the last few years and another album that came out last week. The good news is I got the special first week $9.99 sale! Power Metal is one of my favorite genres of Metal so Stratovarius should be one of the bands I really enjoy but I haven’t bothered to pay attention to the band since they released INFINITE in 2000. Something about the album cover really interested me this time around and the sale price helped out as well.

Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight (2009 limited edition)Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight (2009 limited edition) – $13: Pirate Metal! I’ve been getting into Alestorm a lot lately by listening to their first album, CAPTAIN MORGAN’S REVENGE (2008), online and the LEVIATHAN E.P. (2009) that I picked up a couple months ago. I couldn’t resist picking up this CD when I saw that the limited edition included a DVD of the band’s performance at 2008′s Wacken Open Air festival. Comes in a nice digipak slipcase with the original artwork on the booklet.

doro_fear_no_evil_limited_edition_2009Doro – Fear No Evil (2009 limited edition) – $9.99: The reigning queen of Metal is back with another album and it just seems like she just keeps releasing new albums every year. This album has been out everywhere but the U.S. since January and this version says it’s a limited edition because of the online access to bonus content with the CD. That really makes no difference to me because the digipak version from Europe has 2 bonus tracks AND the online bonuses. A little disappointed brcause I’d want the other 2 songs but the price was good, I’ll keep my eye out for the European version though.

the gathering - the west pole The Gathering – The West Pole (2009) – $12: I got into The gathering back in 1995 when I heard ‘In Motion #1′ from MANDYLION…..after that I became a big fan of the band and vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen. I followed the band closely, buying every new album, until they released IF_THEN_ELSE (2000). By that time I was getting bored with the direction the band was taking into a more atmospheric realm. Now Anneke is gone, having left after the tour for 2006′s HOME, and new singer Silje Wergeland (ex-Octavia Sperati) is on board. I’m interested in how Silje sings and if the music will be different with a new vocalist.

streamofpassion_flameStream Of Passion – The Flame Within (2009 limited edition) – $12: I’m going into this CD blindly because I have never heard a Stream Of Passion song before but I read quite a few positive reviews from some well respected Metal websites so I figured I’d take a chance. Arjen Anthony Lucassen from Ayreon used to be in the band so I figure the music has a Power/Progressive/Ambient quality. The limited edition digipak release for the U.S. has a bonus track called ‘Far And Apart’.

tyr_bythelightTýr – By The Light Of The Northern Star (2009 limited edition) – $12: Well Napalm Records surely got my business this week with Týr, Alestorm and Stream Of Passion all coming out the same day and all U.S. limited editions! Big fan of Týr since I picked up LAND (2008) and I started into their back catalogue. I didn’t realize they had a new record coming out but I know it’s going to be good.

WANTED: Savannah – s/t (1998)

WANTED

SAVANNAH - S-T

Savannah – s/t (1998)

I discovered Savannah back in 1998 when I was reading issue 3 of the Metal Dreams fanzine and I realized that the band was from Massachusetts. Savannah was a combination of members from two other bands: SlyBoyz and Lord Grey. I always make it a point to check out local bands and I remember putting Savannah at the top of my want list. The problem was I forgot to write down the name of the album, so when I finally got around to finding Savannah in my favorite local record store, I picked up the wrong one!

My first Savannah album was the live SALEM’S LOT (1999), recorded on 2/5/99 in Salem, Massachusetts. At the time I had no idea I just picked up a live album, it was the only one in stock so I figured that was the one I read about in Metal Dreams. The good thing was that 8 out of the 10 songs were from the self-titled debut with the other 2 coming from the soon to be released FOREVER’S COME AND GONE (2000). At least I got a preview of what I wanted! My second Savannah album was FOREVER’S COME AND GONE, I received a CDR promo to review for a Rock website I used to write for, I’ve never replaced the CDR but the album is readily available.

The first Savannah album is hard to find, Z Records released it back in 1998 but it’s out of print and the band has disbanded. There is a Japanese version with a bonus track (an alternate version of ‘Two Young Hearts’) and that can be found on Amazon.com for about $75.

For more info on Savannah, check out the band’s page at Heavy Harmonies.